A DISPLAY of Christmas wishes in a Leeds shopping centre could end up helping the struggling bee population.
The Wishing Tree has been put up in the St John’s Centre where visitors can write personal messages on special seeded paper, which will be collected at the start of the new year and planted around Leeds, slowly producing a colourful array of flowers throughout the city.
Emily Carter, marketing coordinator at the St John’s Centre, said: “Members of the public passing through the centre will be encouraged to attach a wish or personal message to the tree until it is covered in words of peace and compassion.
“Once the flowers have grown they will supply our bees, located on the roof of St John’s Centre, with the vital pollen they need to thrive and produce delicious honey.”
Bees have faced a serious threat to becoming extinct in the UK as the number of wild flowers have decreased to make room for new building areas and create grazing land for livestock.
The installation will enable bees in the area to pollinate flowers, vital for producing the food we eat.
The artist behind the Wishing Tree, Jordan Harrison Reader, said: “The Wishing Tree hopes to spread some special festive positivity this Christmas by exhibiting a collection of personal messages, wishes and desires that can be read, admired and added to.
“The rush and frenzy of the festive period can feel overwhelming and the important parts of Christmas are often lost amongst the bright lights and crowds of shoppers.
“The Wishing Tree acts as a simple reminder that there is more to this special festive holiday, spreading messages of festive positivity and selflessness through kindly words and contributions.”
Sally Browns, 32,who visited the Wishing Tree said: “It’s not just a pretty display for Christmas, it’s actually going to be used to help Leeds afterwards, which is a really lovely thought, especially when it benefits such a huge range of people knowing they’ll be able to see their wishes grow.”
The tree is suitable for all ages and will be located in the St John’s Centre until the December 24 during opening hours.
For more information visit: http://christmas.welcometoleeds.co.uk/the-wishing-tree/